Authentic Italian in Burlington
Salvatore’s | Burlington, Ontario
This article also appears on TripAdvisor.
Previously located on Lakeshore East in Oakville, Salvatore’s moved this year to downtown Burlington. Sure enough it is located on Lakeshore again, facing Spencer Smith Park and the famous Pier. The décor is simple but elegant with white cloth table covers and a small patio a couple of steps above the public sidewalk.
You can smell the good food being cooked in the kitchen as soon as you enter. That is a sign of fresh ingredients being made into dishes, in particular fresh herbs such as basil and rosemary, pillars of Mediterranean cooking for millennia.
The namesake of this establishment is the Chef and Owner. Hard working and always busy, he still finds time to talk to patrons. His staff are professional, attentive, discreet and efficient, delivering the kind of great service you would expect in Europe.
The food is classic Italian, Antipasti, Primi and Secundi. The choices and quality are excellent. At our visit in September, the Bruschetta was made with fresh tomatoes on a crusty toasted rustic bread and fresh basil, oregano and extra virgin oil, literally melts in the mouth. Then we tried the Caprese Di Bufala Nostrana, again fresh heirloom tomatoes and herbs with Mozzarella Di Bufala topped with house made reduction of Balsamic vinegar.
The grilled calamari comes in a light sauce made of actual cherry tomatoes, again very tasty. Next was the Buratta cheese with tomatoes, very similar to the Caprese but with more texture and moisture. The way I was looking at it, this was a relaxed late lunch and we were tasting what the end of summer could still give us , remnants of freshness and goodness. Chef Salvatore delivered beautifully.
Now a few words on the wine list: it is expertly put together and has enough variety to choose from. We zeroed in on a Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano, a wine you can never go wrong with. Complex with a nice finish, it pairs with many dishes the right acidity and flavour.
Browsing through the menu, you could easily find a dish that will strike your fancy, from salads in the antispati or pastas including meatless pasta and finally for carnivores all manners of meats available: veal, beef, chicken and duck.
The main attributes of this place are the quality of the cooking, ingredients and execution and the excellent service. This will fast become an institution with a large following in Burlington and beyond.